The Tampa Bay Rays fell behind 2-0 in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday when postseason stud Jose Altuve blasted a two-run homer, and they then proceeded to make things worse for themselves with a brutal error.
The Houston Astros had runners on second and third with two outs in the inning, and it appeared Tampa was going to escape the frame without further damage. Yuli Gurriel lifted a lazy fly ball to shallow right field that should have been a routine play for Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe, but he misplayed it and allowed it to drop.
Tampa Bay rookie Brandon Lowe is out for the season, manager Kevin Cash told the media on Thursday.
Lowe had not played since July 2 due to a shin injury. He was in the middle of a rehab assignment and working his way back before suffering a quad injury on Wednesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin.
Not good rehab news for #Rays: Brandon Lowe was removed from game in Durham with a left quadriceps strain, which is a separate, unrelated injury to bruised right leg. Will come back to St. Pete to be re-evaluated.
Each MLB season brings a new crop of rookies to excite and intrigue fans across the sport. Some are highly-touted, while others are further off the radar and may even be journeymen. Even those who have completely conquered the minor leagues can have some initial trouble adapting to the highest level of competition, so rookies that do storm out of the gates successfully deserve plenty of plaudits.
Here are ten players with rookie status in 2019 who are having a big impact so far this season.
10. Christian Walker, 1B, Diamondbacks
Walker retains his rookie status, but he had MLB experience before 2019. In parts of four seasons dating all the way back to 2014, he had hit just .170 in several brief stints. In 2019 with Arizona, things have been completely different. The first baseman has been a surprising power source for the Diamondbacks, sitting among the team leaders in home runs well into May while hitting just shy of .300 and drawing plenty of walks. Not bad for a 28-year-old rookie.
You can’t always draw much from spring training statistics. The hitters are usually ahead of the pitchers, and the star players are generally more focused on working on process and physical fitness than actually getting results. The sample sizes are small, and there are plenty of reasons a good spring isn’t a solid indicator of a good season to come.
That said, there are guys who are fighting for roster spots and looking to impress managers and coaches, and teams do factor in spring training performances when making key roster decisions. It’s far from irrelevant, and it can certainly set players off on the right foot for a strong year ahead. Here are ten players who are impressing so far in spring training.
10) Jacob deGrom, P, Mets
The biggest name on the list, deGrom looks like his usual strong self in spring training. That’s not nothing, as many pitchers in particular use spring to test out pitches and work on things without really worrying too much about the results. deGrom is doing that, but he’s getting results anyway to the tune of 15 strikeouts and just two walks in 12 innings. He looks poised for another excellent season, and the Mets should probably get that contract extension done or face the consequences.